What Are U.S. Insurers Doing About Improving Customer Experience?
Distinct from insurers in the UK, where digital customer experience is much farther along, it has been suggested that digital teams within US insurance companies can improve their digital research and buying experience for customers by examining the strategies and tactics being used in other industries, such as Retail. Competitive pressures from digital-only insurers, known as Insuretech, is creating even more pressure to utilize the digital channel much more effectively in numerous aspects of insurance marketing, sales and service.
Essentially, one could argue that customer expectations regarding insurance have been, to a degree, heightened by their experiences in the retail and ecommerce markets. Amazon will deliver personalized product recommendations, automatically alert customers of sales, and provide free two-day shipping. Traditional insurers, however, are known for providing a less-than-stellar customer experience—which has lately translated into a revenue gap.
How is Ecommerce Excellence Being Applied to The US Insurance Sector?
What we’re seeing here is a sea change in two waves. First, there are new, digital-only insurance companies that have cut costs and streamlined their operations and are referred to as Insuretech. Insuretech firms have been able to significantly cut costs while creating relatively seamless online customer experience and convenience. Accordingly, they’ve been able to pass on some of those savings to their customers. It is important to note that this group is not a monolith—there are several kinds of innovators within this broader group.
Secondly, the big traditional insurance companies are trying to pivot to improve customer experience. Typically, they are doing this via acquisition, rather than innovation. By aggressively partnering with big data firms, social media firms and the like, traditional insurance providers are attempting to anticipate their customers’ needs. Data mining and analysis is now a top priority for 93% of insurance CEOs—a higher percentage than in any other industry.
Incumbent US Insurers May Be Back to Square One
After a cursory examination of the US marketplace, it looks like insurance startups are holding all the cards. With the advantages of cloud computing, it only takes a small amount of capital to acquire the processing resources that put newcomers on par with established and traditional insurers. They can build a robust CX program from the ground up, whereas older insurers must restructure their existing infrastructure.
By far and away, the most important priority for insurance companies upon rebuilding, is data sharing. Marketing, customer experience, sales, and data science departments must all have access to the same common pool of customer data. This necessity is backed up by research; a study from Aberdeen Group suggests that companies who create a unified view of customer data are much more likely to have a high customer retention rate and a large year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction.
Making this data available to all departments of an incumbent insurance company allows it to capitalize on customer data intelligence and create a competitive advantage with their insurance agents and brokers. By and large, Insuretech companies don’t give their customers the opportunity to interact with flesh-and-blood agents, either on the phone or in person. Giving customers the ability to talk with these individuals, and arming them with the data that allows them to best serve the customer, is one of the best ways for incumbent insurers to stay ahead of the competitive curve.
Realize Undiscovered Revenue Opportunities with UserReplay
UserReplay was developed with a single goal in mind—to help companies discover revenue already in the sales pipeline that has yet to be realized as a result of struggle during the digital purchasing process. Insurers of all types can most certainly benefit from this powerful tool. For example, UserReplay can help improve customer experience by streamlining areas in the application process where customers may get frustrated and drop out. Another improvement is to refine the performance and readability of online tools that calculate insurance rates and allow customers to purchase insurance entirely online.
In order for traditional insurance companies to compete on the level of newer entrants to the market, they need to quickly adjust their online presence and improve digital customer experience wherever their customers find it lacking. This means getting minute-to-minute insight on how their website is performing. UserReplay gives insurers this power. For more information, sign up for a demo today!
John Thompson, CEO, UserReplay